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Manufacturing Robotics Testbed

Manufacturing Robotics Testbed

The NIST manufacturing robotics test bed consists of several labs located in three buildings on the main NIST campus. Combined, these serve as a resource for research in robotics for advanced manufacturing and material handling. The test bed contains representative state-of-the-art manufacturing robots, including ones that have been designed specifically for safe interactions with human workers in shared environments. The testbed also includes advanced multi-fingered grippers, sensors, conveyors, and an industrial robot arm that can be mounted on a linear rail or on a pedestal. A custom-configured automatic guided vehicle (AGV) is used for research in industrial vehicle safety and performance standards, including mobile manipulation. The robot systems also include vision and force-torque sensing capability. Highly accurate simulation systems model the real components and allow different combinations of real and virtual components to be used in experiments. The test bed laboratories are instrumented with a number of reconfigurable measurement devices, such as high resolution laser trackers that can accurately measure the dynamic locations and orientations of parts, and motion capture systems that are used to track people, robots, and objects moving in and around the test bed. Research in the testbed labs focuses on human-robot collaboration, rapid retasking of robot systems, improvements to robot safety standards, and performance evaluation of robots, industrial vehicle systems, sensor systems, and dexterous manipulation for industrial applications. Research is also conducted on validating simulation systems. 

Created August 13, 2010, Updated March 29, 2019